Brooke Astor's prized possessions sell for $8.7million… but her own grandson is outbid for Tibetan statue that goes for FORTY times its estimateOver 900 personal items of the late Astor are being sold in a two-day auction by Sotheby's in New YorkThe first day of the auction, yesterday, brought in a total of $8.7 million which will go to her favourite charities
23:00 GMT, 25 September 2012
Tireless philanthropist and Manhattan socialite, Brooke Astor, shared her wealth from beyond the grave yesterday as hundreds of personal possessions from her estate were auctioned at Sotheby's, selling for a total of $8.7million.
Among the bargain hunters of the two-day auction was her own grandson, Phillip Marshall, who set out to buy a 9-inch, 14th-century bronze Tibetan
statue with an estimated sale price of $3,500.
However the 59-year-old Buddhist, prepared to match the estimate, was far outbid when the saute went for $134,500, nearly 40 times the estimated price.
Family heirlooms at auction: Among the bargain hunters of the late Brooke Astor's two-day auction was her own grandson, Phillip Marshall, who set out to buy a 9-inch, 14th-century bronze Tibetan statue
Despite losing the bid on his own
family's treasure, Mr Marshall said he was thrilled with the amount of
money being raised for some of the late Astor’s favorite charities.
'This is so wonderful,' he told the New York Post. 'I have enough possessions. At this point it’s a spectator sport. The charities are winning.'
According to Women's Wear Daily, a pair of Japanese jars, estimated at $15,000, sold for $170,500.
A telephone bidder
at the auction escalated the price so much that Maarten ten Holder, who led the auction, felt compelled to say, 'Do
put your glasses on. Just to make sure,' when a man on the
floor bid $140,000.
Soaring prices: This 9-inch, 14th-century bronze Tibetan statue had an estimated sale price of $3,500, but sold for $134,500, nearly 40 times the estimated price
Astor, a charitable millionaire who died in 2007 at age 105, was a fixture in New York's high society, and some of her possessions became as well known as the socialite herself.
favourite emerald and diamond Bulgari necklace, estimated at
$350,000, is also up for grabs today, the final day of the auction, along with dozens of dog paintings and porcelain tea sets.
From a small leather jewellery case starting at just $80, to a Tiepolo drawing for $400,000, a vast array of personal items from Astor's Park Avenue apartment, and her Westchester mansion, Holly Hill, both currently under administration of New York State, are going up for auction.
The 900 lots at the two-day auction
were expected to fetch a total of $6million to $10million.But after just
several hours, the Astor collection had already brought in $3million.
Old favourites: Brooke Astor's most precious
personal items will go up for sale, including her favourite dazzling
diamond and emerald necklace from Bulgari, which is estimated at
Barking mad: The staircase at Brooke Astor's Westchester estate, Holly Hill, is lined with the paintings of the late socialite's favourite animal that will go up for auction in September
Priceless: William Nedham's A Toy Spaniel and a Springer Spaniel in a Landscape is just one of the many paintings of dogs owned by the late Mrs Astor
Animal auction: Among the highlights are Mrs Astor's dog paintings, many of which hung salon-style along the spiral stairwell in Holly Hill
Mr Marshall told Bloomberg Business Week prior to the auction: 'There are so many small objects that
are hopefully affordable for people. They were just as important to her
as her expensive paintings.'
as Mrs Astor wished, the proceeds are going to her favorite charities,
like the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the
Animal Medical Center.
Although the state, as
administrator, has the authority to sell assets of the estate, some have
said that donating proceeds to Astor's preferred beneficiaries is
not quite as simple as they would hope.
Mr Marshall told the Wall Street Journal in December:
'This complex estate remains in surrogate's court in Westchester. And it
is much more complicated than initially presumed… that
monies realized from the sale would go to charity.'
Ladylike touches: In 1953, Mrs Astor (pictured in 1991 going to a construction site for housing and homeless) married her third husband, Vincent Astor, the oldest son of millionaire John Jacob Astor IV
High society jewels: A fixture in New York's society, Ms Astor's jewels became as well known as the socialite herself, many of which will be auctioned off at Sotheby's
Precious gems: Admiring collectors have an eye on her beloved animal figurines and numerous teapots
Antique chic: Mrs Astor's ornaments and decorative accents like these Chinese lamps and George III mirror date back hundreds of years and were purchased in different parts of the world
High tea: Astor's teapots and romantic furniture pieces will also go up for auction on September 24
One person who won't be seeing any of auction's money will be his father, Anthony Marshall, who was found guilty
in 2009 of fraud and grand larceny, taking advantage of his mother's dementia in order to steal
millions of dollars from her.
all of Astor's furniture had originally been left to Anthony, after
his conviction he reached a settlement with the state attorney general
stipulating that all furniture be returned to her estate, leaving him
with just $14million.
his wife, whom Astor had a particular distaste for, was left one
necklace and two fur coats that were too small for her.
Admiring collectors have a keen eye on her beloved paintings of dogs, many of which hung salon-style along the spiral stairwell in Holly Hill, and her antique Chinese lacquer furniture dating back to the Qing dynasty.
Charity clause: As Mrs Astor wished, the proceeds from her estate will go to her favorite charities, like the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Animal Medical Center
Stately home: The auction in September is to be held by Sotheby's at the Astor mansion in Westchester known as Holly Hill
Empire state of mind: Mrs Astor's New York apartment will provide the backdrop for one day of the sale
1953, Astor married her third husband, Vincent Astor, the oldest
son of millionaire John Jacob Astor IV, who died on the Titanic in 1912.
As a child, she lived with her parents in China, where Asian art influenced her tastes dramatically.
Sotheby’s sale will include a Qianlong-period gilt bronze lion clock
stand, estimated at $220,000 and a pair of 18th-century famille-rose
porcelain vases, valued at $120,000.
December Sotheby's confirmed that Aaron Shikler's 1983 painting Mrs
Vincent Astor, Seated, would also be in included in the sale.